Sovet-Union: START: 1958-1964:

A Russian Pro -

KMZ factory in Kryznogorsk outside Moscow mostly produced Zenit cameras. But in 1958 they started production of what was meant to be a soviet professional system camera. It featured interchangeable finder and a high quality lens. But only this lens was ever produced until the production was stopped in 1964.

PAD semi-automatic diaphragm, a highly rated Helios lens, interchangeable finder and a breach lock mount were among the features of the Start. Size: 145x97x50 mm. Weight: 701 grams. Sn. 7103433.
The very good Helios 44 58/2 lens. Sn. 0040078.
Inherited from the Exacta of 1954, followed up by Alpa, Miranda and Topcon, Start featured the PAD (Pressure Activated Diaphragm) semi automatic shutter/aperture system. The shutter is activated from a prolonged button on the lens, thus stopping down the aperture as the shutter is released. There was no IRM here, but the aperture went back to full opening after winding, which was a step ahead compared to Exakta and Topcon, for instance. And other details:
Time setting dial, winder arm and counter.
Rewinder knob and film cutter handle.
Film cutter: unscrew and lift.
Edge of film cutter

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26.03 | 20:19

Hi,
Yes, their first PPSLR was introduced in 1960. I will add that that was Kowa(flex). Then the Kowa(flex) E in 1961, introducing auto metering. Thanks!

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25.03 | 23:47

Kowa made one even earlier than this Kowa H, there seems to be one from 1959 (?) called Kowaflex. There is one on ebay now.

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23.02 | 00:17

The Konica Autoreflex of 1968 was the first automatic system to measure light through the lens, TTL. I will rewrite things to make this more clear. Thank you!

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23.02 | 00:14

Savoyflex was first, but not regarded as a very useful system. Then Kowa H in 1963. Then Kiev Avtomat in '64. But Konica got all the credit from 1965.....

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